Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Government Needs To Blaze The Trail On Living Wage


14 February 2013

Government Needs To Blaze The Trail On Living Wage

The Public Service Association is calling on the government, as the country’s largest employer and funder of public services, to take the lead and provide a living wage to workers.

The Living Wage campaign is calling for wage rates which families can realistically live on, which it calculates to be $18.40 an hour.

The PSA represents 58,000 workers in the public and state sectors, district health boards, local government and community public services.

It estimates about 16 percent of its members, mainly women, are not earning a living wage.

PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff says “there is a perception that public sector workers and those in DHBs and local government earn decent wages, but we have thousands of members such as librarians, DHB clerical and administration staff, public service workers, call centre employees and a raft of others who are earning less than $18.40 an hour.”

“They are on a low wage treadmill – battling higher housing, food and living costs while at the same time being offered minimal or zero percent pay increases.”

“It’s a case of public sector budget cuts translating into household budget cuts with many state sector agencies refusing to negotiate pay or across-the-board increases for staff as part of collective agreements,” he says.

Chronic underfunding of many community public services is also denying thousands of people such as home support and disability support workers a living wage.

Richard Wagstaff says a living wage would make a huge difference to these workers who put in long hours and provide high levels of professional care, yet earn minimum wages.

The PSA also believes any additional costs to the government in providing a living wage could be partially offset by the savings it could make.

“If workers are given an opportunity to earn a living wage, they would not have to rely so heavily on government benefits such as Working for Families and accommodation allowances. Providing a living wage should be seen as a valuable investment for everyone and one which will go some way towards narrowing the increasing gap between rich and poor,” says Mr Wagstaff.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters. They’ve been asked to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music. Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens.

If I didn’t know any better, it would seem the world has conspired for me to be a Green Party voter. Parents, Green voters? Check. Participation in bilingual education that stressed the importance of inquiry, solidarity and the Treaty? Check. Some sort of vegetarian leanings (seven years and counting, jus’ sayin’)? Check. However, above all of that, I’m voting Green because I believe in supporting the importance of every New Zealander’s contribution to Aotearoa, from the hairdresser in Foxton to the fisherman in Bluff. You could say that I like the cut of the Greens’ jib. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news